Even before I arrived in Europe, I knew to be prepared for its notorious party scene. I had heard plenty of comments like “Europeans go so hard!” to mentally prepare myself for the four months that lay ahead. And it’s true, the nightlife here is like, sooo wild and people RAGE all hours of the night. But there’s one type of celebration unique to Europe: the Sunday party.
Now, I’m not going to pretend like I’m an expert at finding these rare entities. Europe has a huge underground scene, and I am very much above ground most of the time. However, I am lucky enough to have experienced two exceptional Sunday soirees during my time here.
The first shindig is fairly well known to locals and travelers alike. I’ve been told by multiple people that when I visit London I HAVE to go to Church. Don’t let the name deceive you— this is not a venue catering to the spiritually inclined. On the contrary, it is a Sunday afternoon free-for-all Halloween-esque dance party (really the only way to explain such an event). Inside the venue, we came upon a mob that included farm animals, the entire cast of Star Wars, and many transvestites. I made particularly good friends with a 65-year-old Santa impersonator who had nothing better to do than sling back brews (under his beard of white) on a Sunday afternoon. Complementing the crazy crowd were on-stage dance-offs, strip shows, and other such sights. At first we were disappointed to learn that the event ended at 4p.m. But after being inside this alternate universe, we realized we wouldn’t have been able to last much longer anyway.
The second Sunday fiesta, called Row 14, rivals Church in its level of insanity. Situated 20 minutes outside Barcelona, the locals and I can only describe it as loco. The layout is a mix of fenced hallways and large dance halls, and it has open ceilings that are perfect for throwing confetti and pool toys onto unsuspecting dancers. On stage, we danced with football players, inflatable aliens, and more cows than I could count. Later in the night, cops, robbers, and detectives, all on stilts, made an appearance. Strangely enough, no matter how enticing the partiers’ costumes were, our American nationality made us some of the most welcomed people there.
The best part of these events is the contrast between what goes on inside and out. Instead of leisurely enjoying the day of rest like the rest of Europe is known for, these places do exactly the opposite. If anyone wants to point me toward other similar events I can attend during the one semester I don’t have to spend my Sundays trapped in Olin basement, I’d be very grateful.
Kristen Jenkins is a junior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Notes from Abroad: Reviews appears on Mondays.
Original Author: Kristen Jenkins